CAMPAIGNERS battling an application by UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) for exploratory drilling near Dunsfold Park are calling on general election candidates, councillors, businesses and interested groups to request the Environment Agency extend its consultation on a matter of a “high public interest”.

Protect Dunsfold has objected the agency’s consultation on UKOG’s environmental permit application – set to close on Thursday, December 19 – which has not been widely advertised and the “highly complex technical reports” cannot be responded to in 28 days.

A spokesperson for Protect Dunsfold said: “The review period coincides with a general election and is leading up to the festive break, which is unacceptable for a matter of such importance.

“There will be no MP to provide ‘ongoing engagement’.

“The Environment Agency, can at any time extend the consultation period if the application has high public interest and needs to be subjected to close and detailed scrutiny.”

The group is urging supporters to contact the agency requesting an immediate extension.

Surrey County Council is set to determine UKOG’s application on January 30.

Supporting the request, Waverley Borough Council’s environment portfolio holder, Godalming councillor Steve Williams, said: “Waverley have made it very clear to Surrey we are not supportive of drilling for hydrocarbons anywhere in the borough and this particular site is not suitable.

“Both the timing of this consultation and length of time allowed are far too short."

* For details of the consultation and to respond, visit